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DarkHunter

Potential conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran

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DarkHunter
Posted (edited)

Seems that Saudi Arabia and Iran are moving one step closer to open warfare.  There are reports coming in of Iranian backed militias starting to mass on the Iraqi-Saudi border and that these militias are armed with 1,400 missiles according to Iraqi officials.  

It seems this new development is due to the conflict going on in Yemen as Saudi Arabia has been intercepting the majority of drone and missile strikes coming from Yemen while Saudi airpower seems to of blunted the Houthis offensive on Marib.  The battle is still on going but the material and man power losses for the Houthis are starting to get significant.  

If the reports are true, which is never certain given the track record of Iraqi officials, but Iran may be planning on opening another front for hostilities which might just start a wider regional war between the Shia and the Sunnis and Israel.  Saudi Arabia wont just allow Iranian backed Iraq militias to target Saudi Arabia with impunity and I cant see the Iraqi government, already torn between pro and anti Iran factions accepting Saudi Arabia bombing Iraq/having Saudi troops cross the border or being able to stop the militias from attacking Saudi Arabia.

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2021/03/27/iraqis-are-getting-fed-up-with-iran

That article seems to be where this information is coming from but it seems to be subscription required to view the entire article.  Normally I dont even bother posting links like that but the source for claims of a build up of military forces on a border need sourced.

This is mostly just speculation but Iran has seemed to of become increasingly belligerent in the region.

Edited by DarkHunter
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and then
1 hour ago, DarkHunter said:

This is mostly just speculation but Iran has seemed to of become increasingly belligerent in the region.

Yeah, it's almost like they think they have no worries from Biden.  When it comes to Israel, they'll regret the choice to FAAFO...

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Manwon Lender
35 minutes ago, and then said:

Yeah, it's almost like they think they have no worries from Biden.  When it comes to Israel, they'll regret the choice to FAAFO...

Hey if they keep US Soldiers out of it let them all burn.

JIMO

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Piney
1 hour ago, Manwon Lender said:

Hey if they keep US Soldiers out of it let them all burn.

JIMO

Really! 

Let them all wipe each other out. Grade the whole thing  flat with mineplows and build a Super Walmart with oil wells. :yes:

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Manwon Lender
14 minutes ago, Piney said:

Really! 

Let them all wipe each other out. Grade the whole thing  flat with mineplows and build a Super Walmart with oil wells. :yes:

In the military we use to joke about how the Middle East could become a non-factor in the world today. The consensus we came up with was to destroy or render the oil useless. Since the oil fields are all more or less interconnected underground, we figured that sliding a small nuclear weapon down a well head and detonating it would solve the problem once and for all. Like I said keep the US out of their conflicts and let them all burn.:yes:

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Piney
1 minute ago, Manwon Lender said:

In the military we use to joke about how the Middle East could become a non-factor in the world today. The consensus we came up with was to destroy or render the oil useless. Since the oil fields are all more or less interconnected underground, we figured that sliding a small nuclear weapon down a well head and detonating it would solve the problem once and for all. Like I said keep the US out of their conflicts and let them all burn.:yes:

The MI guys in O'ahu and the Puzzle Palace both say the Middle East is going to eventually become a non-factor.  It should of been 20 years ago. :yes:

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RoofGardener

I very much doubt that Iran would directly strike at Saudi Arabia. The Saudi militlary would absolutely FLATTEN any troop formations entering the kingdom. It could also shoot down inbound missiles, and its air force could shut down Iran's entire oil production/refining infrastructure. 

I could, however, envisage a move to by Iran to take control of Iraq - effectively annexing it - due to Iraq's majority Shia population. 

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DarkHunter
11 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

I very much doubt that Iran would directly strike at Saudi Arabia. The Saudi militlary would absolutely FLATTEN any troop formations entering the kingdom. It could also shoot down inbound missiles, and its air force could shut down Iran's entire oil production/refining infrastructure. 

I could, however, envisage a move to by Iran to take control of Iraq - effectively annexing it - due to Iraq's majority Shia population. 

Assuming the one advisor to the Saudi government was correct the Saudi government already believes that Iran has already struck Saudi Arabia directly with missile and drone strikes either originating from Iran itself or Iranian backed militias in Iraq.

Militarily the two are rather comparable in strength and Iran may very well feel it can take Saudi Arabia in a fight.

Iran has almost four times the military personnel as Saudi Arabia, counting active, reserve, and paramilitary, with about 2.5 times the population fit for military service.  Saudi Arabia does spend about 3.5 times more on their military then Iran does though.  That is just Iranian personnel and not any Iranian backed militias in Iraq.

In airpower Saudi Arabis has a massive advantage having more and better aircraft then Iran.  But Iran arguably has a significantly better air defense system then Saudi Arabia.  Ultimately Saudi Arabia would be able to use its air force defensively but unlikely would be able to realistically strike out at Iran with it.

For ground power Iran has close to four times the tanks.  Quality is kind of all over the place, about half of Saudi Arabian tanks are M1A2S Abrams tanks, the other half M60A3 Patton tanks, with a some French AMX-30SA tanks.  Iran has some M60 Pattons, Chieftan tanks, various T-72 variants, their own home produced tanks, and various light tanks.  Armored vehicles Iran has about 2/3 the amount as Saudi Arabia.

For artillery both have similar numbers of self propelled and towed artillery but Iran has far more rocket artillery.  

Naval power Iran has the clear advantage as Saudi Arabia doesnt have much of a navy at all.

Missiles Iran has the clear advantage as they have been developing and stockpiling ballistic missiles for decades unlike Saudi Arabia.  

Saudi Arabia could certainly hurt Iran's oil production and exporting by targeting Kharg island but Iran can also overwhelm Saudi Arabia's air defense with ballistic missiles and take out Saudi Arabia's oil production and exporting too.

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Setton
13 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

 

I could, however, envisage a move to by Iran to take control of Iraq -  effectively annexing it - due to Iraq's majority Shia population. 

Firstly, Iran already has about is much influence in Iraq as it can. About half of the CoR is Iranian aligned.

Second, being Shia does not mean being loyal to Iran. Most of the other half of the CoR are also Shia, but Shia nationalists (Sadr for example). They are strongly against any outside interference, Iranian or Western. 

Iran simply hasn't the influence in Iraq yet to control the country itself.

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and then
19 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

I very much doubt that Iran would directly strike at Saudi Arabia. The Saudi militlary would absolutely FLATTEN any troop formations entering the kingdom. It could also shoot down inbound missiles, and its air force could shut down Iran's entire oil production/refining infrastructure. 

I could, however, envisage a move to by Iran to take control of Iraq - effectively annexing it - due to Iraq's majority Shia population. 

I strenuously disagree with this assessment.  One need look no further than the Kingdom's assault on Yemen.  At least six years on and S.A. hasn't gotten the job done.  Whether S.A. could beat Iran or not will never be answered because if they were attacked by Iran, we'd have little choice but to enter on their side or watch the Kingdom fall to Iran's thugs.  While I don't care who kicks S.A.s ass, I do care that a war there could escalate into a really bad situation for the world.  THAT, with only conventional arms.  If Iran is allowed to become part of the nuke club, S.A. and several other Sunni Gulf States have more than enough money to buy or build nuclear weapons.  Hopefully, the EU and the Tan Messiah think long and well before allowing THAT arms race to begin.

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Tatetopa
6 minutes ago, and then said:

I strenuously disagree with this assessment.  One need look no further than the Kingdom's assault on Yemen.  At least six years on and S.A. hasn't gotten the job done.  Whether S.A. could beat Iran or not will never be answered because if they were attacked by Iran, we'd have little choice but to enter on their side or watch the Kingdom fall to Iran's thugs.  While I don't care who kicks S.A.s ass, I do care that a war there could escalate into a really bad situation for the world.  THAT, with only conventional arms.  If Iran is allowed to become part of the nuke club, S.A. and several other Sunni Gulf States have more than enough money to buy or build nuclear weapons.  Hopefully, the EU and the Tan Messiah think long and well before allowing THAT arms race to begin.

So do you want Biden to keep us out of a war or get us into one?  

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RoofGardener

Hmm.. I think your evaluation of the military strengths of Iran vs Saudi are somewhat skewed ?

Firstly, how - exactly - would Iran invade Saudi ? It would either have to send its troops and armour on a 400 mile detour through Iraq, and on desert roads (or open, unpaved terrain) to GET to the Saudi border. Tanks and tracked vehicles can do that - wheeled vehicles (fuel trucks, ammunition trucks etc) less so. Even if Iraq was to acceed to Iran doing this, and didn't interfere, it would put the Iranian forces at the end of a huge logistics trail, and INCREDIBLY vulnerable to air attack. It would be highly unlikely to succeed. In fact, they would be massacred.

Well, how about a maritime assault across the Persian Gulf ? Unlikely; the Iranian Navy has very few escort vessels: a handful of frigates and corvettes, all of old design. They only have three tank transport ships, and a further six light landing craft. They simply could not move the mass of troops and equipment needed for an invasion. Not even close. And that is before the Saudi navy appears on the scene. It has 3 modern frigates and four modern corvettes. A similar number to Iran, but whereas the Iranian frigates are ancient, the Saudi ones are quite modern, and equipped with anti-ship missiles, as well as guns. An Iranian task force would be sunk rapidly, and that's before we consider the Saudi air force.

Oh yes.. the air forces. To say that the Saudi's have an advantage in the air is to just hint at the gulf between the Iranian and Saudi air forces. The former has ancient Mirages, Phantoms and F14's. The Saudi's have improved F15 and F16's. And they have three or four times the numbers of the Iranians. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

OK.. what about missiles ? Well, Iran has perhaps 200 medium and long range missiles that could strike Saudi directly across the Persian Gulf. Saudi has Patriots, Hawks, and THAAD to shoot them down. Assuming they are awake and actually monitoring their expensive radars. I doubt they could shoot them ALL down. But then, the warheads on those missiles are NOT huge. Even if some slipped through, it wouldn't represent an existential threat to Saudi. And once those missiles have been fired, they are gone.

Could Saudi retaliate ? Sort of. They couldn't invade Iran for all the same reasons that Iran can't physically invade Saudi. (unhelpful geography, no common land border, lack of maritime assault ships). However, Saudi F15's COULD attack the Iranian cost with stand-off missiles, devastating Iranian ports and coastal refineries, and pretty much shutting down all sea commerce (including oil).

I don't think Iran would initiate hostilities somehow ?

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Setton
21 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Hmm.. I think your evaluation of the military strengths of Iran vs Saudi are somewhat skewed ?

Firstly, how - exactly - would Iran invade Saudi ? It would either have to send its troops and armour on a 400 mile detour through Iraq, and on desert roads (or open, unpaved terrain) to GET to the Saudi border. Tanks and tracked vehicles can do that - wheeled vehicles (fuel trucks, ammunition trucks etc) less so. Even if Iraq was to acceed to Iran doing this, and didn't interfere, it would put the Iranian forces at the end of a huge logistics trail, and INCREDIBLY vulnerable to air attack. It would be highly unlikely to succeed. In fact, they would be massacred.

Well, how about a maritime assault across the Persian Gulf ? Unlikely; the Iranian Navy has very few escort vessels: a handful of frigates and corvettes, all of old design. They only have three tank transport ships, and a further six light landing craft. They simply could not move the mass of troops and equipment needed for an invasion. Not even close. And that is before the Saudi navy appears on the scene. It has 3 modern frigates and four modern corvettes. A similar number to Iran, but whereas the Iranian frigates are ancient, the Saudi ones are quite modern, and equipped with anti-ship missiles, as well as guns. An Iranian task force would be sunk rapidly, and that's before we consider the Saudi air force.

Oh yes.. the air forces. To say that the Saudi's have an advantage in the air is to just hint at the gulf between the Iranian and Saudi air forces. The former has ancient Mirages, Phantoms and F14's. The Saudi's have improved F15 and F16's. And they have three or four times the numbers of the Iranians. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

OK.. what about missiles ? Well, Iran has perhaps 200 medium and long range missiles that could strike Saudi directly across the Persian Gulf. Saudi has Patriots, Hawks, and THAAD to shoot them down. Assuming they are awake and actually monitoring their expensive radars. I doubt they could shoot them ALL down. But then, the warheads on those missiles are NOT huge. Even if some slipped through, it wouldn't represent an existential threat to Saudi. And once those missiles have been fired, they are gone.

Could Saudi retaliate ? Sort of. They couldn't invade Iran for all the same reasons that Iran can't physically invade Saudi. (unhelpful geography, no common land border, lack of maritime assault ships). However, Saudi F15's COULD attack the Iranian cost with stand-off missiles, devastating Iranian ports and coastal refineries, and pretty much shutting down all sea commerce (including oil).

I don't think Iran would initiate hostilities somehow ?

You do realise Iran has successfully hit multiple targets all over SA with missiles in the last couple of years?

And they were ones in the hands of militia. Do you really think the Iranian military would perform worse?

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RoofGardener
2 hours ago, Setton said:

You do realise Iran has successfully hit multiple targets all over SA with missiles in the last couple of years?

And they were ones in the hands of militia. Do you really think the Iranian military would perform worse?

I discussed their missile capability in my post, @Setton :D

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Setton
39 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

I discussed their missile capability in my post, @Setton :D

Yes...

You said the Saudis could easily shoot them down.

So how do you explain the repeated strikes on airports and oil refineries?

Are the Saudis just not bothering? Or have they overegged their capabilities?

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RoofGardener
25 minutes ago, Setton said:

Yes...

You said the Saudis could easily shoot them down.

So how do you explain the repeated strikes on airports and oil refineries?

Are the Saudis just not bothering? Or have they overegged their capabilities?

Firstly, I said that Iran only has about 200 medium and long range missiles capable of hitting the kingdom. Then I said that - providing they wheren't asleep at the switch, the Saudi's should be able to shoot many (or most) of them down, certainly those aimed at major strategic targets. Then I pointed out that the warheads are relatively small (for the most part), and could only do limited damage. And then I pointed out that once they where all fired, that's THAT. 

To answer your question: the successful attacks succeeded because the Saudi's WHERE asleep at the switch. Plus the targets where not really strategicly that important, and where not given the defence coverage that they should have been. And finally... the damage from the missiles was pretty miniscule ? 

Lets nor forget that the Saudi's have long-range missiles themselves (though not many of them), and the Iranians would be inviting like-for-like retaliation. 

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and then
On 3/27/2021 at 2:32 AM, Tatetopa said:

So do you want Biden to keep us out of a war or get us into one?  

I want NOTHING from that illegitimate Potato-in-Chief.  I want even less from the Tan Messiah or his DC politburo.  I'm pointing out the realities on the ground as I see them.  An Iranian bomb is about the worst event possible for that region.  If Israel decides to preempt that possibility with the help of some Sunni states then I'd understand it.  I wish I could say it amazes me that we still have members here who'd argue that Iran isn't planning and working to be a nuke state.  

 

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DarkHunter
On 3/29/2021 at 10:13 AM, RoofGardener said:

Firstly, how - exactly - would Iran invade Saudi ? It would either have to send its troops and armour on a 400 mile detour through Iraq, and on desert roads (or open, unpaved terrain) to GET to the Saudi border. Tanks and tracked vehicles can do that - wheeled vehicles (fuel trucks, ammunition trucks etc) less so. Even if Iraq was to acceed to Iran doing this, and didn't interfere, it would put the Iranian forces at the end of a huge logistics trail, and INCREDIBLY vulnerable to air attack. It would be highly unlikely to succeed. In fact, they would be massacred

While difficult a land invasion through Iraq would be possible especially with the control Iran has over Iraq.  Iran already sends men and equipment through Iraq with no problems so sending a few divisions wouldnt cause a massive problem.  The IRGC already has a decent presence in Iraq already.  Plus Iran would integrate its forces with Iraqi militias and stick supply depots in Iraqi towns and cities so any airstrikes would be portrayed as Saudi attacks on Iraqi civilians.

On 3/29/2021 at 10:13 AM, RoofGardener said:

Well, how about a maritime assault across the Persian Gulf ? Unlikely; the Iranian Navy has very few escort vessels: a handful of frigates and corvettes, all of old design. They only have three tank transport ships, and a further six light landing craft. They simply could not move the mass of troops and equipment needed for an invasion. Not even close. And that is before the Saudi navy appears on the scene. It has 3 modern frigates and four modern corvettes. A similar number to Iran, but whereas the Iranian frigates are ancient, the Saudi ones are quite modern, and equipped with anti-ship missiles, as well as guns. An Iranian task force would be sunk rapidly, and that's before we consider the Saudi air force.

Most if the stuff here is wrong also.  Saudi Arabia has 7 frigates, 4 being the Al Madinah which were all made in the 1980s and 3 being the Al Riyadh being slightly modified La Fayette frigates made in the early 2000s.  As for corvettes Saudi Arabia has 4 all made in the 1980s.  

Iran has 3 Kilo submarines, 1 coastal submarine, and 15 midget submarines.  Iran also has 6 frigates, 3 being Alvand class all made around 1970 and 3 being the Moudge class of which all 3 made in the early 2000s.  The main strength of Iran's navy is its multiple fast attack craft armed with antiship missiles.

In terms of naval power Iran just far outclasses Saudi Arabia.  

On 3/29/2021 at 10:13 AM, RoofGardener said:

Oh yes.. the air forces. To say that the Saudi's have an advantage in the air is to just hint at the gulf between the Iranian and Saudi air forces. The former has ancient Mirages, Phantoms and F14's. The Saudi's have improved F15 and F16's. And they have three or four times the numbers of the Iranians. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

While Saudi Arabia has a far better airforce what it could do with it is limited.  Iran has one of the best integrated air defense systems in the world and Saudi Arabia has extremely limited stand off range munitions of which some does not out range Iranian air defense systems.  

On 3/29/2021 at 10:13 AM, RoofGardener said:

OK.. what about missiles ? Well, Iran has perhaps 200 medium and long range missiles that could strike Saudi directly across the Persian Gulf. Saudi has Patriots, Hawks, and THAAD to shoot them down. Assuming they are awake and actually monitoring their expensive radars. I doubt they could shoot them ALL down. But then, the warheads on those missiles are NOT huge. Even if some slipped through, it wouldn't represent an existential threat to Saudi. And once those missiles have been fired, they are gone.

Just about every single thing you said here is inaccurate.  

First off Iran does not have 200 medium and long range ballistic missiles.  According to general McKenzie Iran has between 2,500 and 3,000 ballistic missiles.  

https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/Transcripts/Article/2111116/transcript-gen-mckenzie-gen-townsend-and-acting-asd-for-international-security/

Of those ballistic missiles some of them will be on the shorter range of only around 200 miles but as those are older missile designs and Iran has spent a lot upgrading and advancing its ballistic missile program a large percentage of those missiles will have ranges over 600 miles, many around 1,000 miles in range.  

As for warhead size most of their ballistic missiles carry between 1,000 and 3,000 pound high explosive warheads, which are rather big.  

As for Saudi defense capabilities those are limited especially against a large salvo attack which Iran would almost certainly employee.  First off the Hawk is horrible at ballistic missile defense.  It has a maximum range of around 30 miles so unless its basically at the targeted site it wont be of any real use.  The patriot and thaad are much more useful but Saudi Arabia only has those in extremely limited numbers.  Iran has been able to strike Saudi Arabia not because the Saudis were asleep at the switch as you say but because they have the radars pointed towards Yemen and the launch platforms positioned to intercept ballistic missiles from Yemen.  Saudi Arabia just simply doesnt have enough patriots or thaad to defend its entire airspace.

As for existential threat it would only take a few ballistic missiles hitting a few key refineries to completely collapse the Saudi economy.  

This is all before Iran's cruise missiles get factored in.  

Ultimately almost everything you said is just wrong and your analysis is deeply flawed at a fundamental level.

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Tatetopa
1 hour ago, and then said:

I want NOTHING from that illegitimate Potato-in-Chief.  I want even less from the Tan Messiah or his DC politburo.  I'm pointing out the realities on the ground as I see them.  An Iranian bomb is about the worst event possible for that region.  If Israel decides to preempt that possibility with the help of some Sunni states then I'd understand it.  I wish I could say it amazes me that we still have members here who'd argue that Iran isn't planning and working to be a nuke state.  

Does that mean you want Biden and hence the US  to do nothing so that Obama will be defamed?  I would much prefer that we do the right thing and give Trump credit for it than do the wrong thing to spite a former administration.  I just don't have that much hate.

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and then
1 hour ago, Tatetopa said:

Does that mean you want Biden and hence the US  to do nothing so that Obama will be defamed?  I would much prefer that we do the right thing and give Trump credit for it than do the wrong thing to spite a former administration.  I just don't have that much hate.

You'll pardon me for not worrying over what you think about this issue.  It just comes off as smug.  You'll also understand that the lame responses about his legitimacy aren't even worthy of comment. BTW, that isn't hate, it's COLD RAGE...

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Sir Wearer of Hats
On 3/27/2021 at 5:32 PM, Tatetopa said:

So do you want Biden to keep us out of a war or get us into one?  

It depends on what he needs the people to react to or conceal from them. 

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Tatetopa

 

1 hour ago, and then said:

You'll pardon me for not worrying over what you think about this issue.  It just comes off as smug.  You'll also understand that the lame responses about his legitimacy aren't even worthy of comment. BTW, that isn't hate, it's COLD RAGE...

Thanks for clearing that up.  My bad. I was not trying to rub in  Biden, just expressing my desire to preserve the U.S.   I thought you wanted us to help Israel  prevent Iran from acquiring a bomb.

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Tatetopa
7 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

It depends on what he needs the people to react to or conceal from them. 

What Biden wants may be up to him, but for the rest of America, we need to decide where our interests are in the Middle East,  Do we want another 20 years of wars or to get out.  In the nearly 50 years since I left high school, we have been constantly  fighting somewhere in the world   America first is a good goal.  What policy gets us there and what ends our role as world cop? Is it immediate total withdrawal or a last short term engagement?

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RoofGardener
17 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

While difficult a land invasion through Iraq would be possible especially with the control Iran has over Iraq.  Iran already sends men and equipment through Iraq with no problems so sending a few divisions wouldnt cause a massive problem.  The IRGC already has a decent presence in Iraq already.  Plus Iran would integrate its forces with Iraqi militias and stick supply depots in Iraqi towns and cities so any airstrikes would be portrayed as Saudi attacks on Iraqi civilians.

There is a HUGE difference between smuggling a few 'consultants' in to arm and equip local militia groups, and moving tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of tanks and APC's, towed artillary, mobile anti-aircraft vehicles, and support vehicles (fuel bowsers, munitions lorries etc) across hundreds of miles of unpaved terrain, @DarkHunter. Yes, it WOULD cause massive problems. Half the tanks would probably break down on such a journey.

17 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

Most if the stuff here is wrong also.  Saudi Arabia has 7 frigates, 4 being the Al Madinah which were all made in the 1980s and 3 being the Al Riyadh being slightly modified La Fayette frigates made in the early 2000s.  As for corvettes Saudi Arabia has 4 all made in the 1980s.  

Iran has 3 Kilo submarines, 1 coastal submarine, and 15 midget submarines.  Iran also has 6 frigates, 3 being Alvand class all made around 1970 and 3 being the Moudge class of which all 3 made in the early 2000s.  The main strength of Iran's navy is its multiple fast attack craft armed with antiship missiles.

In terms of naval power Iran just far outclasses Saudi Arabia.  

 

Saudi has 7 frigates, four corvettes, and 9 'patrol boats'. The latter are large, and armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles, along with 4" guns. It is true that they don't have any submarines, but one has to ask... do the Iranian Kilo-class submarines still work ? They might submerge, but can they surface again :D

The miniature submarines might be a danger, but they are very slow, and couldn't catch up with a Saudi frigate/corvette/patrol-boat. Their torpedo's are home-brew, and no-one knows how reliable they are. 

The fast-attack boats could be a threat. But ask yourself this; are they sufficient to escort the Iranian's handfull of Landing Craft over the 60-odd round trips it would take them to deliver an army (with armour, artillary etc) across the Persian Gulf ? I think not. One trip, perhaps. Two trips ? Maybe. But that would be about it. 

18 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

While Saudi Arabia has a far better airforce what it could do with it is limited.  Iran has one of the best integrated air defense systems in the world and Saudi Arabia has extremely limited stand off range munitions of which some does not out range Iranian air defense systems.  

Irrelevant. That air defence system would not prevent Saudi the Iranian coastal refineries and oil docks using stand-off air-launched missiles. 

 

18 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

First off Iran does not have 200 medium and long range ballistic missiles.  According to general McKenzie Iran has between 2,500 and 3,000 ballistic missiles.  

https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/Transcripts/Article/2111116/transcript-gen-mckenzie-gen-townsend-and-acting-asd-for-international-security/

Of those ballistic missiles some of them will be on the shorter range of only around 200 miles but as those are older missile designs and Iran has spent a lot upgrading and advancing its ballistic missile program a large percentage of those missiles will have ranges over 600 miles, many around 1,000 miles in range.  

Or to put it another way.. MOST of them are shorter range: less than 500Km. Even if you parked them on the Iranian coast, they couldn't penetrate very far into Saudi. My statement of "200 milles" is correct. 

Your point about a saturation missile attack is - however - well taken. What I hadn't realised is that the majority of Saudi oilfields (and refineries) are in the East of the country, and hence vulnerable to Iranian missile strikes. But here's the thing.. the majority of Iranian oilfields and infrastructure are on its western coast, and easily within range of the Saudi Air Force with stand-off missiles. (without the Aircraft entering the Iranian air-defence shield). So if Iran attacked Saudi oil production, Saudi could retaliate. With this in mind, would Iran REALLY commit economic mutually-assured destruction by attacking the Saudi oil infrastructure ?  

18 hours ago, DarkHunter said:

Ultimately almost everything you said is just wrong and your analysis is deeply flawed at a fundamental level.

Or to put it another way: I am correct :) 

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DarkHunter
4 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

There is a HUGE difference between smuggling a few 'consultants' in to arm and equip local militia groups, and moving tens of thousands of troops, hundreds of tanks and APC's, towed artillary, mobile anti-aircraft vehicles, and support vehicles (fuel bowsers, munitions lorries etc) across hundreds of miles of unpaved terrain, @DarkHunter. Yes, it WOULD cause massive problems. Half the tanks would probably break down on such a journey.

Iran didnt smuggle a few consultants into Iraq.  Iran has sent over 1,000 military advisers into Iraq alone along with Iranian special forces, 1,500 Basijis (militia of the IRGC), and if the Kurds fighting in Iraq are to believed hundred of regular Iranian soldiers from the Iranian 81st armored division.  Iran already has a sizable military presence in Iran and had no difficulties in the past moving decent quantities of men and equipment into Iraq.  The reality is Iran can move just about anything it wants into and through Iraq freely.

As for your comment on moving through unpaved terrain that makes absolutely no sense what so ever.  Iran controls the border checkpoints with Iraq, Iran also controls the border checkpoints between Iraq and Syria, and if Iran wants to they will control the Iraqi side of the checkpoints between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.  There would be no required moving of anything over unpaved terrain.

4 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Saudi has 7 frigates, four corvettes, and 9 'patrol boats'. The latter are large, and armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles, along with 4" guns. It is true that they don't have any submarines, but one has to ask... do the Iranian Kilo-class submarines still work ? They might submerge, but can they surface again :D

The miniature submarines might be a danger, but they are very slow, and couldn't catch up with a Saudi frigate/corvette/patrol-boat. Their torpedo's are home-brew, and no-one knows how reliable they are. 

The fast-attack boats could be a threat. But ask yourself this; are they sufficient to escort the Iranian's handfull of Landing Craft over the 60-odd round trips it would take them to deliver an army (with armour, artillary etc) across the Persian Gulf ? I think not. One trip, perhaps. Two trips ? Maybe. But that would be about it. 

You do understand frigates arent that big right.  The Al Riyadh class is about 133 meters long and displaced approximately 4,700 tons with a top speed of 25 knots.  The Al Madinah class is about 115 meters long and displaced approximately 2,000 tons with a top speed of 30 knots.  The Al Riyadh class CIWs are 16 Aster-15 missiles while for Al Madinah class its 8 Crotale missiles.  Which means if Iran fires 17 anti-ship missiles at a Al Riyadh or 9 at a Al Madinah one is probably going to hit and do extensive damage, probably sinking it.

As for Iranian submarines the Fatah class has a top submerged speed of 26 knots, which means it is faster then the Al Riyadh class.

The exocet missiles that Saudi Arabia uses on the Al Riyadh class have a maximum range of 72 km while the Al Madinah uses otomat missiles with a maximum range of 180 km but over 120 km the missile needs guidance from something else to hit its target.  

Iran uses C-802 which has a range of 120 km, Noor with a range of 170 km, or Ghader with a range of 300 km.  Iran's navy would be relatively easily be able to fire their anti-ship missiles well outside of the range of anything Saudi Arabia has.

No matter how you want to look at it the Iranian have a decidedly better navy and would gain control of the Persian gulf.

5 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Irrelevant. That air defence system would not prevent Saudi the Iranian coastal refineries and oil docks using stand-off air-launched missiles. 

It's not irrelevant just because it's highly inconvenient for you.  Saudi Arabia has a very limited supply of munitions that can out range Iranian air defenses.  Iran also has an extensive integrated anti-air defense system which means they got air defense systems that are designed to intercept those stand off range weapon systems.  When you look at a very limited number of stand off weapons and an air defense system that has the capability to intercept them it generally means they wont be effective.  Also Iran has the S-200 Fajr 8 which has a range of 250 km and the S-200 Ghareh which has a range of 350 km.  Saudi Arabia doesnt have stand off munitions that outrange that.  

5 hours ago, RoofGardener said:

Or to put it another way.. MOST of them are shorter range: less than 500Km. Even if you parked them on the Iranian coast, they couldn't penetrate very far into Saudi. My statement of "200 milles" is correct. 

Your point about a saturation missile attack is - however - well taken. What I hadn't realised is that the majority of Saudi oilfields (and refineries) are in the East of the country, and hence vulnerable to Iranian missile strikes. But here's the thing.. the majority of Iranian oilfields and infrastructure are on its western coast, and easily within range of the Saudi Air Force with stand-off missiles. (without the Aircraft entering the Iranian air-defence shield). So if Iran attacked Saudi oil production, Saudi could retaliate. With this in mind, would Iran REALLY commit economic mutually-assured destruction by attacking the Saudi oil infrastructure ?  

Your statement was no where near correct.  First you said Iran did not have more then 200 medium to long range missiles, that was proven wrong.  Now you pivot that your statement of 200 miles, which you never said to begin with, is still wrong.  You obviously just dont know what you are talking about and cant admit it.

Even then most of Iran's missiles have ranges between 500 and 1000 miles.  So even if you would of said 200 miles it would still be wrong.

Once again Saudi Arabia has a very limited supply of stand off weapons and Iran's air defense system would have a decent chance of intercepting a good amount of them.  Iran has anti air missiles with a range of 350 km, Saudi Arabia's stand off munitions has a range of 270 km.  That's a bit of a problem.

The more you try to prove you have any idea of what you are talking about the more you show you have absolutely no idea of the subject or topic at hand.

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